In true Collateral Beauty fashion, I wrote a letter. But this time it wasn’t to life, death, time, or love. It was to my niece, London Cadence. My best friend of 25 years delivered her… stillborn only 2 days prior to her due date. So, as time drew closer and closer to what would be her first birthday I decided the next letter in my series should be to her. This is for you, London C. Scott.

Dear London,


I remember when I first found out about you. I cried like I knew you were going to be my saving grace. Like you would bring her and I closer, the way we always had been. She told me you were due on my birthday. I was pissed when they moved that date up. Ha ha, I just barely by a couple of days missed giving her my greatest revenge. A Gemini raising a cancer. I loved to rub it in her face. That the things that annoyed her most about me would be stuck with her for the rest of her life. Through me, through you. I laughed about it often.


And I remember the day you left, just the same. More. It hits heavier. Knocks the wind out of me, often.


I was at a work function. Isn’t that funny? Enjoying myself. Laughing. I looked down at my phone for just a second. If only I had waited, waited until the joke I was telling was over to peek. I was never good at avoiding the bright screen of my iPhone when it lit up. Maybe I would have saved myself if only for a second more, a moment longer.

“My baby is gone. They can’t find her heartbeat.”


Nope. Nah. Neaux. Noap. Whatever way you can spell that feeling of “I hope this is a sick joke.” Whatever way I could waive off the anticipation of the laughter, say, “I have to leave”, and drive approx. 12 minutes and 48 seconds to get to the hospital, hoping this was some bullshit nightmare and that when I got there everything was going to be ok. But no matter how many ways you spell “no”, it doesn’t save you. And this wasn’t a joke.

I met them in the hall. The women I had called my best friends for 10-24 years sit there silent… or screaming. There wasn’t an in between. Some of us half unaware, some of us drenched in “it’s not supposed to end this way.”


I asked which room your mother was in. They could do nothing but point. I let it out. I didn’t want her to see me like this. I had to be strong for your mother. But when I was ready, and entered that room. I saw God. She wasn’t crying. She was surrounded by people who were trying not to. And I stood there for what felt like 3 minutes but was actually probably only 30 seconds and your mom said, “And I still trust God.”


And I broke. Because, in that moment…I wasn’t sure I did. How could he take you away from her? Her. 2 days before you were supposed to take your first breath, your first cry.


We wanted to be strong for her. We prayed the prayers of Nazareth. But, when we woke up the next morning things were still the same. And we never were again.

We kissed you. We held you, every moment you were here.

Today, your mother smiles. She’s so beautiful. She’s so strong. She makes us strong. She’s had her moments. She misses you. We miss you. We write stories in our heads about what you’re doing right now. Sometimes I see you writing words on my ceiling. They cover up the bad ones I wrote before you took the pen. London, I love you. We love you, and we miss you. A year later, we celebrate you. And I strive to get toward any part of Heaven God created for you.

So, I’ll do the work to get to you. Until then, I’ll watch over the people that created a space for you, that nothing can fill.

I thank you, for sharing this earth with us, for the 9 months, 3 weeks and umpteen days. I thank you. I am honored. And your mother, is everything. Trust me.